The good news: Ohio finally saw a decrease in COVID-19 cases reported Friday after three straight days of new record highs.
The bad news: The 14,414 cases reported is the second-most ever for a single day since the start of the pandemic. Only the 15,989 reported Thursday had a higher count.
The numbers don’t include those who tested positive for COVID-19 with at-home kits, which were distributed and sold in significant numbers this week, and then didn’t follow up with a medical professional.
There’s more bad news: The 692 COVID-19 deaths reported this week is the most for a single week during the pandemic — 15 more than last week’s 677, which was the previous record.
Also, the 71,490 cases reported for the week is the second most ever, and it’s only for six days.
The Ohio Department of Health won’t provide data today because of Christmas and will combine the totals for today and Sunday in Sunday’s report.
The most weekly cases were reported the week of Dec. 6-12, 2020, with 86,029, though the ODH said at the time 13,000 of them were backlogged cases included in that week’s total.
The delta variant among the unvaccinated largely has been responsible for the increase in cases since August, said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, ODH director. The omicron variant also has hit Ohio in the past two weeks, although the ODH’s most recent update of what variant people have was Dec. 4.
The high COVID-19 cases and deaths could continue as people get together today for Christmas.
The state has had its four highest daily COVID-19 cases reported in the past four days: 12,502 on Tuesday, 12,864 on Wednesday, 15,989 on Thursday and 14,414 on Friday.
There have been 220,774 COVID-19 cases reported through the first 24 days of this month for a daily average of just fewer than 9,199. At that pace, December will finish with 285,166 cases, which would be a record for any month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
The current record is 279,317 in December 2020. This month already has the second-most COVID-19 cases for any month in Ohio.
Also, the ODH doesn’t know how many of the state’s residents have been vaccinated.
It won’t have updated vaccination numbers until at least Monday because of what it calls a “multiday outage with the state’s immunization database vendor.”
The ODH has had several issues with reported COVID-19 data.